When You’re Feeling the Damage of Burnout

Until recently, I thought burnout was a normal part of life. I had never even thought there could be a life without burnout. I would stoically push through stress and challenges until I crashed. Then I’d rest and recover only to do it all again.

I’ve been learning a different kind of living in the last year. One with more realistic expectations, with rhythms of rest, and – most importantly – less burnout.

If I’m really honest, I’ll tell you that learning to live outside of the burnout cycle is really hard. There was something that felt so productive about working and living hard and having burnout to show for it.

Oh, you worked yourself to the point of being narcaleptic, stressed out, and needing a month’s worth of massages? Here’s a medal.

What if productivity isn’t the goal?

What if there’s another way to determine if a life is well lived?

I don’t have the answers yet, but as I’m working out new rhythms, ones that include a lot more rest, I’m finding myself living more in the present and fearing burnout a whole lot less.

I had just accepted that burnout was normal and now I’m realizing it’s really not. And it’s not healthy either.

And it’s one thing to recognize it, but changing the fundamental ways I hand stress and health is a whole different beast. There’s no program to follow. No list of the 7 Ways to Avoid Burnout, Guaranteed. It’s just a series of experiments to figure out what works. What works for me won’t necessarily work for you. And it’s really okay.

I had lots of great conversations about all of this on Sucker Punched (see links to each episode below), but recently I read this article on handling burnout depending on your Myers Briggs type and it’s got some really great wisdom.


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